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Patricia Soderberg of Istachatta has been drawing since the first grade, impressing friends and teachers. In grade school, she did poster and wall illustrations. At Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg, she took a year of fine arts and commercial art classes.

According to Soderberg, her high school teachers _ Doris Derrick, commercial art, and John Johnson, fine art _ taught her the most important guiding principles of her art. While in commercial art, she designed and worked on set scenery, program covers and costumes for the drama department.

In 1966, Soderberg was awarded a first-place Junior Addy award from the St. Petersburg Advertising Club for a program cover. At that time, she was encouraged to pursue her artistic talents, but instead she got married and had five children.

When her youngest child was in middle school, Soderberg began selling her artwork at craft shows. Although she had only worked in pencil and pastels, she was asked to paint pheasants on rhea eggs. She then began working with gourds to have something more marketable than jewelry and painted eggs.

Since her work with gourds, Soderberg has won awards at craft shows, including first place at the Nativity Women's Guild annual country craft show, third place at the Lutz Arts and Craft Festival, honorable mention from the Citrus County Festival of the Arts, and the Best Craft Award from the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park Arts and Crafts Festival for five years in a row (1997-2001).

Soderberg believes her art has taken its current form due to her passion for beautiful things and for the inherent beauty in natural things.

"I believe my art need no better message than to reflect the beauty of the world around us and lift our spirits," she said.


At the Jan. 17 meeting of the Winding Waters Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sheriff Richard Nugent was the guest speaker.

In addition to conventional law enforcement activities, Nugent explained the special "Law Enforcement in Hernando County" program his office offers, which emphasizes educational programs for young people, such as its successful Junior Deputy program.

Other programs the Sheriff's Office will offer include one aimed specifically at third- and fourth-graders and an anti-drugs-and-alcohol program for middle school students.

Nugent said the School Board has authorized the Sheriff's Office summer camp program, "Build a Good Citizen." The program will be introduced for credit at the new Nature Coast Technical High School.

Following Nugent's talk, regent Eleanor Wilcox presented him with a check from the chapter for the county's youth shelter.

For information on the Winding Waters chapter, call 683-5484.

On Jan. 17, the Irish American Society of Hernando County installed officers at the Senior Citizen Center in Spring Hill. Judge Edwin Malmquist presided.

The new officers include Dick Quinn, president; Brian Moore, vice president; Louise Mohl, secretary, and Ed Kehoe, treasurer. Mary McGowan and Grace Kehoe will serve as one-year directors, and Theresa and Bruno Pomponio will serve as the two-year directors.

Jan. 3, state Rep. David Russell Jr., R-Brooksville, was the guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Hernando County Young Republicans. Russell swore in the 2002-03 officers, including Laurie Pizzo, president; Stan Garthwait, vice president; John Pizzo, treasurer; and Ruby McGeehan, secretary.

Chairmen include Dan Mauriello, political activities chairman; Dan McGraw, social chairman; Mike Pearson, fundraising/finance chairman; and Richard Butts, membership chairman.

The Hernando County Young Republicans was chartered in August 2001 to provide an opportunity to those between the ages of 18 and 40 who want to learn more about the political process become involved in campaigns and network with other young Republicans on a social level.

On Jan. 22, the Rotary Club of Brooksville had its 18th annual Elected Officials Day during its regular Tuesday noon meeting at the Brooksville Country Club. Twenty Hernando County and city of Brooksville elected officials and three nonelected officials were recognized and honored by the Brooksville Rotarians for their service to the community.

Following lunch, Rotarian Bill Catto, committee chairman and master of ceremonies, introduced the honored guests. Guest speaker Circuit Judge Richard Tombrink presented his thoughts on the changes wrought by the Sept. 11 tragedy.

Elected officials who attended included Circuit Judges Richard Tombrink, Jack Springstead and Curtis Neal; Clerk of Court and Rotarian Karen Nicolai; Sheriff and Rotarian Richard Nugent; Commissioners Nancy Robinson, Betty Whitehouse and Chris Kingsley; County Judge Peyton Hyslop; Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams, Tax Collector and Rotarian Juanita Sikes; Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek; School Board members John Druzbick, Jim Malcolm, Robert Wiggins and Sandra Nicholson; Brooksville Mayor and Rotarian Ernie Wever; and Brooksville City Council members Joe Johnston III, Richard Lewis and Joe Bernardini.

Nonelected guests included: Brooksville City Clerk and Rotarian Karen Phillips, County Administrator Paul McIntosh and Brooksville City Manager Richard Anderson.

Jan. 23, the Michigan Club of Hernando County elected officers for 2002. They are Martha Wauters, president; Tom Smith, first vice president; Ron Davis, second vice president; Doreen Melucci, treasurer; and Shirley Goodrich, secretary.

Committee chairpersons include Dick Holstad, adopt-a-road; Pam Allis, membership; Sue Churchill, newsletter; Pat Larson, George Drobina and Saundra Heebsh, invocation; Ron Davis, historian; Joyce Vance and Louise Cieslak, activities and outings; Gen O'Grady, ladies luncheon; Midge Gonzales, trips; Mardi Flynn, refreshments; Edna Hendrickson, helping hand and sunshine lady; Omer Gagnier and Ted Wauters, share the wealth; Martha Wauters, publicity; Pam Allis, bowling; and Georgette Bixby, golfing.

A special committee is planning the club's 25th anniversary celebration in January 2003.

The club's yearly events include picnics in March and November, corn and hot dog roast in May, potlucks in March and October, and speakers throughout the year. Some of the outings planned for this year include a trip to Lakeland to watch a Detroit Tigers spring training baseball game, a pontoon outing, miniature golf and a sunset at Hudson Beach.

The third Friday of each month, members meet for dinner, alternating between the Elks Lodge, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus and Veterans of Foreign Wars Hernando Beach. The women meet the second Monday of the month at different restaurants.

Members enjoy bowling at Spring Hill Lanes at noon on Thursdays and golfing on Fridays at The Heather, north of Weeki Wachee. During the summer months, members who remain in Florida continue the club's monthly activities.

Individuals interested in membership must be a former or current resident of Michigan and reside in Hernando County. Dues are $8 annually. The club meets from 1 to 4 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month at the Senior Citizens Center, 7925 Rhanbuoy St., Spring Hill. Contact Martha Wauters at 688-0227.


Members of the Dynamic Divas, an under-12, all-girls recreational soccer team in Hernando County, ended their season with an undefeated record. According to head coach Michelle Maves and assistant coach Glenn Maves, the girls worked hard all year for this achievement.

Team members included Cassie Chilton, Chelsey Connolly, Tracy Cruz, Jennifer DeFrancisco, Giovina DeSantis, Meagan Deslaurier, Jaklyn Diaz, Megan Jacobson, Nicole Jensen, Stephanie Jensen, Lindsay Kuhn, Brittany Maniatis, Katlyn Maves, Brittany McDonald, Theresa Mince and Allison Shelt.

Painted pony

Spring Hill resident Lilian Kovac traveled to Ocala on Feb. 12 to admire the talents of the many artists who created the 52-horse exhibit that can be seen throughout the city. Each statue, painted with an individual theme, will be on display until the end of March, then each will be auctioned. The exhibit supports the Marion County Cultural Alliance.

Sweet harmony

Members of the Brookridge Barbershop Harmony Quartet performed Feb. 16 at the Hernando County Heritage Museum's 22nd annual Heritage Day festival. Standing, from left, are Marilyn Webb, Ron Weaver, Chuck Webb and Ron Musacchia.

Gourds designed by Patricia Soderberg of Istachatta were on display at the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery.

The Irish American Society's newly installed officers, are (seated from left) Louise Mohl, Mary McGowan, Grace Kehoe (standing from left) Brian Moore, Dick Quinn and Ed Kohoe.

Hernando County Young Republicans welcomed state Rep. David Russell Jr. at its January meeting. From left, are Dan Mauriello, Dan McGraw, Mike Pearson, Rep. David Russell, Stan Garthwait, Laurie Pizzo and John Pizzo.

Color guard

Spring Hill American Legion Auxiliary Unit 186 color guard members Nancy Sena, left, and Betty Corbin participated in the Four Chaplains Memorial Service at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spring Hill on Feb. 3. A large number of colors were represented from different organizations, and the auxiliary was proud to have its colors shown.

Michigan Club of Hernando County's new executive board includes, from left, Martha Wauters, Tom Smith, Ron Davis, Shirley Goodrich and Doreen Melucci.

_ Hometown Hernando welcomes reports on recreational and sports activities, both youth and adult, that do not normally run on the Sports pages. Send your news and results to: Jean Hayes, Hernando Times, 3233 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, FL 34606.